April Terror Threat Snapshot: ISIS Arrests in US Increase
By Glynn Cosker
Managing Editor, In Homeland Security
Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has released the monthly Terror Threat Snapshot. The “snapshot” is a detailed assessment of the growing threat America, its Western allies, and the rest of the world faces from ISIS and other Islamist terrorists.
“The alarming rise of Islamist extremists has spawned a deadly terror campaign across the globe. Sadly, we again have seen the resulting carnag recently in Brussels, Jerusalem, and Kabul,” stated McCaul. “Our enemies are continuing to exploit growing instability and the retreat of American leadership. ISIS terror operatives have deployed from their Syrian safe havens and exploited security gaps to infiltrate and infest Europe. Al Qaeda thrives amidst the war in Yemen, methodically carving out greater sanctuary,” he continued.
View the House Homeland Security Committee’s interactive Terror Threat Snapshot map here.
9 People Arrested in 8 States
The April Terror Threat Snapshot shows that – so far in 2016 – nine people have been arrested in eight states for ISIS-related crimes, including weapons charges, lying to authorities, overseas travel to ISIS hotbeds and specific attack plots. Since 2014, 84 people were arrested in 24 states for similar crimes.
Also of note this month is the snapshot’s report of nearly 40,000 foreign fighters – from more than 120 nations – who have traveled to Syria. Of that total, 250 of the freedom fighters were from the United States.
The April edition mentions a growing number of released Guantanamo Bay inmates who have rejoined terrorist groups. According to the report, “the Director of National Intelligence assessed that 204 former Guantanamo inmates had rejoined Islamist extremists or were suspected of doing so.”
Other key points from the April Terror Threat Snapshot:
- Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, there were at least 150 homegrown jihadist plots in the U.S., including people who traveled overseas receive training on how to execute terrorist attacks at home.
- Nearly 90 percent of ISIS supporters arrested in the United States are male, and close to 40 percent of them have converted to Islam. Their average age is 26.
- At least 34 separate global extremist groups have pledged their allegiance to ISIS.
Recent ISIS-Related Arrests and Developments in the United States
MINNESOTA: A 23-year-old man is facing charges that he lied to the FBI about recent contact he’d had with ISIS; he was also arrested for making violent threats at a local drugstore.
CALIFORNIA: An 18-year-old student who attacked classmates on the University of California-Merced campus in November – was described as a ‘self-radicalized jihadist’ by the FBI in March.
The complete April Terror Threat Snapshot is available here.